If you could turn back time what changes would you make?

By June Shannon Heart News   |   14th Jun 2018

Pfizer Health Index 2018 found middle aged adults most concerned about heart disease.

If you could turn back the clock, what would be the one positive change you would make for your future health?

For the majority of Irish adults, it would be to take more exercise and have a better diet.

This was one of the findings of the 2018 Pfizer Health Index; an annual survey of health and wellness which charts the perceptions, attitudes and behavior of more than 1,000 adults in Ireland in relation to their health and wellbeing.

Now in its 13th year, the 2018 Index focused on the theme of ‘health of the ages’ and it revealed that different age groups had very different health concerns with middle aged adults most concerned about heart disease.

The age demographics were divided as follows; aged 20-39, aged 40-60, and aged 61 and older.

Heart disease, cholesterol and arthritis were more of a concern for those aged between 40 and 60.


Those surveyed were asked a range of questions relating to their health and wellbeing, such as what illnesses concerned them most, what steps they felt they could take for the benefit of their future health, and what significant ‘life milestones’ have had the most impact on how they approach their future health.

Young adults (20-39) were most concerned about mental health, diabetes and obesity, while heart disease, cholesterol and arthritis were more of a concern for those aged between 40 and 60. Older adults those over 60 were most worried about cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings also revealed that health priorities shifted with age. Younger adults (20-39) focused on appearance with diet and exercise ranking as top priorities. For those aged between 40 and 60, reducing the amount of alcohol they drank was the main priority while disease prevention ranked as number one among those over 60.

Significantly, there was consistent agreement across the ages that if they could go back to an earlier point in their life, more exercise (56%) and a better diet (53%) were the two changes they would have made.

The majority said they believed health should be the Government’s number one priority.


According to the findings, a significant change in this year’s Index was the overall prioritisation given to finances as the top personal concern for Irish people (32%); whereas previously family and personal health were the top concerns listed.

However, when it came to Government spending, the majority of those surveyed said they continued to believe that health should be the Government’s number one priority.

The Pfizer Health Index also revealed that the one “single positive step” that many adults in Ireland took earlier in life that benefited them today included quitting smoking (36%), taking exercise (30%) and adopting a more balanced diet (30%).

Remember it is never too late to take a positive step to improve your heart health. Contact our National Heart and Stroke nurse helpline for more information.





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